Swift Water Safety: How to Stay Safe on Fast-Moving Rivers – Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District

Swift Water Safety: How to Stay Safe on Fast-Moving Rivers

Are you planning to spend some time on the Crystal, Roaring Fork, or Colorado rivers? While these rivers are beautiful and fun to play in, it’s important to know that fast-moving water can be dangerous. Snow melting in the rivers causes the water to rise and move faster, creating strong currents that can sweep even strong swimmers off their feet. Cold water can also make it difficult to swim and lead to hypothermia. Here are some tips to help you stay safe while enjoying these beautiful rivers.


Wear a life jacket

When it comes to river safety, wearing a life jacket is the most important thing you can do to stay safe. A life jacket can keep you afloat and reduce the risk of drowning. Make sure your life jacket fits properly and is Coast Guard-approved. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, wearing a life jacket can be a lifesaver in an emergency.

Learn basic water safety skills

Knowing basic water safety skills can make a big difference in an emergency. Consider taking a CPR or first aid class, as well as a water safety course. Knowing how to swim and how to perform basic rescue techniques can help keep you and your friends safe in the water. Be prepared for the unexpected.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs can impair your judgment and reaction time, making it harder to respond in an emergency. To stay safe, never drink alcohol or use drugs when near or in the water. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and be able to react quickly if something goes wrong.

Check the water and weather conditions

Before you head out to the river or stream, check the water conditions. If there’s been recent rain or if the snow is melting, the water may be moving faster than usual. Always be aware of the water conditions and adjust your activities accordingly. If the water looks too dangerous, it’s best to stay out.

Respect the power of the water

Fast-moving water can be extremely powerful and unpredictable. Even if the water looks calm on the surface, there can be strong currents underneath. Always be cautious and aware of your surroundings when near or in the water. If you’re not sure if it’s safe to enter the water, ask a lifeguard or a local expert.

While enjoying rivers such as Crystal, Roaring Fork, and Colorado, make sure to prioritize your safety. Wear a life jacket, learn basic water safety skills, avoid alcohol and drugs, check the water conditions, and respect the power of the water. By following these tips, you can have a fun and safe time on these beautiful rivers.